Or sure Just like Neil Young is a great guitarist And as it happens a track on my ipod popped up arlier Driftin Back It s 27 minutes long Neil Young doodlin away on his guitar Nice stuff and all but ah 27 minutes of one track WHY IS THIS BOOK SO LONG EASYEventually probably like Valkyries Vengeance every otherxhausted defeated would be Garth Hallberg fan I had to realise that rarely had I found myself in the presence of an author uite so much in love with himself His remarkable trick amongst all the New Franzens was to get so many of the great and the good to fall in love with him too I think Garth knows the secrets of Mind Control You shall publish my vast novel Yes O Garth not one word shall we cut 903 pages it isJust look at those back page blurbs I wanted it to go on and on and on well it really did that was one of the problems darling it assures us that we are not alone and that hope is infinite yes you are not alone in hoping that this novel will come to an Let Freedom Reign end soon please dear Lord while I was reading I could barely do anythinglse that s because it sucks all the time right out of your day along with most of the joy and the innocent pleasure of reading a new novel as opposed to a great leaden beast which presses down upon you like a very succubus sent from the Evil OneRATINGSmooth patrician style 4 starsVocabulary a recherche 5 starsCharacters 2 starsPlot you re kidding no starsFun with odd handwritten inserts and the famous zine 3 starsFeeling of accomplishment at finishing this beast with okay uite a bit of kangaroo style skipping about but still hell 5 starsOverall 25 City on Fire was marketed as one of the biggest book releases of 2015 Garth Risk Hallberg s 900 page debut novel sold to the publisher for a whopping 2 million has been likened to Donna Tartt s The Goldfinch and Jennifer Egan s A Visit from the Goon Suad And while I see the similarities I think Hallberg s doesn t uite stack up to Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco, either of these novelsLet s disregard the fact that yes this book is incredibly well written Hallberg understands language He writes with precision with big ideas and at timesven bigger words Not to toot my own horn but I feel like I have a fairly wide vocabulary Hallberg The Emerald Peacock either is a walking dictionary or had one at his side while writing this for there were dozens of occasions in which I had to stop and look up a word and as an avid reader that doesn t happen too often I appreciated that though whenvery single character has the author s vocabulary it drew me out of the storyHallberg has a strong hold on the sentence But perhaps too strong I have to agree with another reviewer who said that she couldn t read without being aware of the author s presence While the story was Little Book of Impressionists engaging it wasn t absorbingnough to forget that you are indeed reading a story not Tickle Torture experiencing it And what the two books I mentionedarlier did for me was deliver a book that was than a book they were Ugly Girls experiencesI will applaud Hallberg for writing a 944 page novel that rarely drags With a mix ofclectic and well thought out characters along with a nicely paced and mysterious plot I was always compelled to read on I loved almost RSVP... Baby every character s perspective And the 3rd person omniscience with the free indirect speech which I am a fan of though others find it plodding and meandering writing reminded me at times of Yanagihara s stellar A Little Life Sadly there are few other comparisons to make between Hallberg s novel and the formerUltimately I found thending to be satisfying but in that way that left me little to chew on It was all wrapped up with a pretty bow at the The Moment end and I was left without anything to rip open andxamine further I d still recommend this one to those courageous The Cypress Tree enough to take on this nearly 1000 page novel Perhaps you ll find something within and maybe my own re reading not for a long while though would provide deeper insight I m sure there is much I missed and I will miss these characters and their stories I only wish I was left with less perfection and of the raw gritty reality that is presentedlsewhere in the book 35 stars The it book this fall is City on Fire a 911 page debut by an unknown writer named Garth Risk Hallberg Yes Risk is literally his middle name but it s his publisher that s taking a chance here Having reportedly paid nearly 2 million for the manuscript Knopf must be praying that City on Fire is worth its weight in Goldfinch Such irrational The Kings Spy (Thomas Hill, exuberance can t buy a spot on the bestseller list but it can guarantee coverage So prepare yourself for what passes for a book publicity juggernaut Over the next few weeks you ll read about this novelverywhere and you ll hear the young author interviewed on NPR and you ll see pyramids of City on Fire at your local bookstore And at some point you ll wonder Should I read this novel or three others That decision may hinge on your stamina but City on Fire is an Doctor Illuminatus extraordinary performance Radiating youthful bravado that will make older authors sniff with contempt or sweat withnvy Hallberg has conjured what he calls the muchness of New York City in the late 1970s He calculates the sum of thousands of variations all jockeying for the same spot Like Tom Wolfe but with less nervous The Real Witches Kitchen energy and stylisticlegance Hallberg climbs uickly up and down the The Preachers Kid economic ladder He inhabits the minds of whites and blacks men and women old and young ga To read the rest of this review go to The Washington Posthttpswwwwashingtonpostcomentert Couldn t make it past the prologue Two characters took about 50 pages to move a Christmas tree across the crosswalk I don t care how big the buzz is life is too short Five reasons for 5 stars1 I had read 177 pages of this physical heavy weight book I own it Then I saw that my library carried this audiobook it was availableso change of plans Instantly I recognized Rebecca Lowman as one of the main narrators I began to melt into REBECCA LOWMAN BLISS Rebecca adds life to the language and brings the characters alive 2 Rebecca Lowman s voice is so sincere warm and realI m interested in anything she talks about It was because I survived City on Fire No matter whatlse I read in 2016 I feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing this dense sprawling 900 page tomeFor it is dense and sprawling Comparisons to Dickens and Pynchon and David Foster Wallace and hell O Testamento even Shakespeare are apt The plot is so complicated it defies summary There is a punk group on a mission there is a rich familymbroiled in a corruption scandal there is an honest cop close to retirement there are Gangbang Slut estranged lovers there is a girl who was shot there is an angry father there is a prodigal son and there is a journalist trying to uncover the truth Andverything comes to a head during the July 1977 blackout in New York CityThis is a novel "So Crammed With Stuff "crammed with stuff it took me a while before I started to like it Sure my One Con Glory expectations had been raised because Garth Risk Hallberg had inspired a bidding war for this debutnding up with a 2 million advance I know it s crazy Also I made the mistake of listening to this on audio which I would not recommend because the print version makes better sense of all the Defying Shadows (Rising Shadows ephemera and found objects including letters and zines and diaryntriesIn short I would recommend this novel if you like The Great Orange Leonard Scandal (Tall Tales Series; 4) epic stories that make you work a little harder It s a book I will need to reread to fully appreciate Favorite uotesThe reason we can say anything we want in America is that we know it makes no differenceAnd she learned that you couldn t stockpile anything that mattered really Feelings people songs sex fireworks theyxisted only in time and when it was over so were theyThe Lonliest Man in the World she said only has room in his heart "for one person and if he can t have that person he locks himself away He tells himself no one "one person and if he can t have that person he locks himself away He tells himself no one possibly love him but really it s that he refuses to love anyone Tangled Webs (The Black Jewels, else. Rio americano Em meio a tudo isso um crime ue vai cruzar suas vidas de forma imprevisível A Fairly Honourable Defeat e irremediávelCombinando o ritmo de um thriller aoscopo dos grandes épicos da literatura Garth Risk Hallberg constrói um meticuloso retrato de uma metrópole m transformação Dos altos salões do poder às ruelas do subúrbio le captura a Elisabeth Shue 135 Success Facts - Everything You Need to Know about Elisabeth Shue explosão social artística ue definiu uma década The Man Without a Face e transformou o mundo para sempre Cidadem chamas é um romance inesuecível sobre amor traição Happy Easter, Mouse! (If You Give...) e perdão sobre arte punk rock Sobre pessoas ue precisam umas das outras para sobreviver E sobre o ue faz a vida valer a pe. .
For the most part this book was totally worth 2 million dollars and it s definitely worth the cover price of 3000 but damn it s hard to review at its most reductive it s a multi viewpoint novel told from the perspective of several characters living in new york during 77 culminating in that summer s blackout it s a panoptic of the ultra wealthy and the suatters the artists and musicians and revolutionaries gay and straight old and young black and white and asian uptown and downtown police and criminals both white collar and otherwise journalists and teachers sex and drugs and rock and roll and on and Gone (Gone, etc the narrative axis around which the separate stories spiral out is the shooting of a teenage girl in central park on new yearsve but although that Threads Of The Shroud event does serve as an anchor it s hardly the main focus this is not a mystery novel it s a sprawlingxciting puzzle whose individual stories interlock so tightly that it s impossible to discuss one part without having to discuss all the parts it s a little bit Infinite Jest a little bit A Visit from the Goon Suad a little bit jonathan dee a little bit Underworld a little bit pynchon and oddly All Seated on the Ground enough a little bit A Midsummer Night s Dream didn t see that one coming did ya and it s the parts that feel MND y that brought this one down to a 4 instead of a 5 star basically i loved the book until the blackout itself while i think the blackout is a smart choice with great metaphorical potential and while i acknowledge that the situation necessitates some irrealism it just got a little murky for me in those bits some stories definitely benefitted from this tonal change particularly mercer s and also keith and regan s but others like jenny s and charlie s just missed the mark for me like Night Film this book has all sorts ofphemera crammed in a zine letters news articles patient records mails but it doesn t come across as gimmicky it is all necessary to tell this sprawling tale this 900 page book that reads smooth as chocolate milk it s a beautiful lonely book about the changing face of a city a city which has been changed several times over since the 70 s it s wonderfully nostalgic reading i ve lived in new york for twenty years and i have seen many changes firsthand but there s still so much that is recognizable in this book despite hallberg s changing of a few namesyou don t have to know anything about new york to love this book or fireworks punk rock posthumanism fiscal concerns or messianic delusions i mean it helps so you can chuckle at things like this Rotten Vicious Hell Thunders like some firm of malign lawyersbut this is a novel about people about the way human beings live and love and screw up it s one of the most impressive debuts i have ver read Wiring even though i m not crazy about thendish bits you d be wise to read it since it s all anyone s going to be talking about for the next year or sogot laid off read a giant book although considering this cat got two million dollars for this debut i m probably approaching this from the wrong sidecome to my blog I can t just can t read this any It is hanging over my head like Damocles sword Have read half but I just don t care Against All Odds enough about any of these characters to continue Yes it is well written but way to wordy and just not for me a good fit I am so darned relieved to be done I can already feel the sting from the glances of sideyed skepticism and Jingling Daddys Bells BDSM Menage even scepticism as I type this that for 600 pages anyway City on Fire the massively hyped crazy uilt pastiche of a doorstopper was this close toarning a spot on my imaginary Favorites shelf I was utterly The DOS enraptured by Garth Risk Hallberg s swirly sweaty portrait of NYC in the mid to late 70 s Even with the pretentious slathering of the most obscure words of the English language I flew through the pages as if they were popcorn buttered Even as Hallberg kept gumming up the works by rolling out character after character all interesting if not likable into the frayven as the forward flow of the narrative kept being
hijacked by being shifted into reverse seemingly at Hallberg s whim ven as I kept feeling Hallberg wasby being shifted into reverse seemingly at Hallberg s whim ven as I kept feeling Hallberg was borrowing from the styles of Pulitzer Prize winners and NYC veterans Jennifer Egan Donna Tartt Don Delillo Tom Wolfe to dangle as award bait I still could not get Sleep, Circadian Rhythms, and Metabolism enough of this novelThen at about the 60% mark the bottom fell outI can t uite pinpoint the reason why the book started tanking for me but it seemed as if Hallberg was dithering about how tond the thing I never confused this for a mystery or thriller it s nothing of the sort really but Treasons, Stratagems, And Spoils each time he d hover close to a suitable climax and denouement he d retrace his steps and rehash key plot points I m sure this is the tritest criticismver but if Payment Due ever a bookarned it City on Fire is the one this book is in desperate need of a competent Vampireville (Vampire Kisses, editor one allowed toxcise the fat When I mentioned to a friend that Hallberg is in love with his own writing it s the seeming absence of an Pirate of the Pacific (Doc Savage, editor I was referring to The veterans of the doorstop novel Norman Mailer Stephen Kingtal may ve gotten away with getting their manuscripts published with a minimum of The Rich and the Profane (Lovejoy, editing but a relatively cachet less read formerly novel less author like Hallberg Leaving in all this fat can only lead the cynical reader to point the finger at Knopf for inflating the page count A 300 page cut could ve made this a masterpieceI purposely haven t mentioned the plot as it takes a backseat to the crisply rendered vision of a city at the verge of upheaval There is a good one though coursing beneath the brilliant prose and beautifully ugly backdrop There s way too much to concisely mention but using the real life July 13 1977 Blackout of NYC as a fulcrum of sorts to balance upon Hallberg hasnlisted a solid cast of characters as instruments some unwitting some actively involved in that upheaval There s the gay African American aspiring novelist and NYC transplant from backwoods Georgia Mercer Goodman Billy Three Sticks aka William Hamilton Sweeney III Mercer s punker boyfriend whose up and coming band Ex Post Facto s biggest hit City on Fire provides the book its title the musically talentless Nicky Chaos another punker whose nihilistic machinations form an SDSSLA Turbulence esue group bent on changing the world called PHP or Post Humanistic Phalanstery Samantha Cicciaro a Long Island NYU student photographer fanzine publisher and daughter of one the few original fireworkers those that runlaborate fireworks displays Richard the journalist whose Tropical Bioproductivity essay on the origins of fireworking uncovers a much deeper and far reaching story Charlie the asthmatic 15 year old Long Islander who desperately wants to get out from under his overbearing mother s wingOkay I think you get the picture there s so much going on here Hallberg s undertaking is hugeand than a little Sisyphean there s so much going on it s impossible to tie upvery loose Elizabeth Ann Seton end I admire Hallberg s fortitude and vision which ispic in scope I can see why bidding wars arose over this I as well after reading half of this wanted to xalt it to all ven the skeptics Alas with all the aborted Folk Tales From the Soviet Union endings and untrimmed fat the best I can do is warn readers not toxpect perfection There s nough of a slow burn to make City on Fire a worthwhile read but it s certainly not "The Be All End "be all nd novel the first half portended Boy I wanted to like this bookGarth Risk Hallberg is certainly a writer of Tall, Dark Rich exceptional promise and unmistakable ability There are passages in City On Fire that sublimelyvoke New York City portraying the Big Apple s magnetism and its monstrous shadow so The Collector's Encyclopedia of Antique Marbles effectively as to make it feel like you re walking the streets yourself The amount of detail conjured in these pages is freuently astonishingAnd yet why Why must the writer tell us forxample the relative size of an heirloom mattress and what it took to move it in. Nova York 1976 O sonho hippie acabou Taught to Obey e dosscombros surge uma nova cultura urbana Saem as mensagens de paz Learning to Dance in the Rain e amor as camisetas tingidas Rebel (The Change, entram as guitarras desafinadas os acordes raivosos os coturnos caindo aos pedaços Por toda a cidade brotam galerias de arte Man of Her Dreams (The Enforcers, e casas de showsfumaçadas É nesse cenário ue Garth Risk Hallberg situa The Plant Paradox esta obra colossal aclamada pela crítica como uma das grandesstreias literárias de nosso tempoRegan Little Sister (Sweet Dreams, e William são irmãos herdeiros de uma grande fortuna Ela uma legítima Hamilton Sweeney Namen-Und Sach-Register Zum Jahresbericht �ber Die Fortschritte in Der Lehre Von Den Pathogenen Mikroorganismen Umfassend Bacterien, Pilze Und Protozo�n eternamente preocupada com o futuro da família vê seu casamento desmoronar. To an apartment years before Mr Hallberg does not know how much is too much 900 pages is a marvelous length but no matter how artfully the words are assembled on them they still need to convince the reader they are absolutely N.76 le Mystere de Job et les preuves Initiatiques essential On this account City On Fire fails miserably As a steak the novel is riddled with gristleWould this were the only problem But the novel is structured primarily as a limited omniscient third person account from the perspective of its individual characters Try as he might Mr Hallberg cannot inhabit his characters individually His diction is out of control So much so that yes I find thexclamation point necessary It s such a glaring problem I m rather shocked it wasn t addressed further in Red Skies at Night (Anchors Away editing On almostvery page he makes specific word choices and digressions of description that take the reader out of the story At no time in the book did I believe I was hearing anything other than the novelist s voice and most of the time that novelist was hovering in my The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 ears like a drunk mosuitoProbably 20% of this novel is what I call a word salad sophisticated jumbles of vocabulary arranged in a semblance of meaning It all sounds impressive but when you get to thinking about what you ve just read it doesn t hold up Mr Hallberg does not know what to leave out Theffect is to flatter the writer not to Fresh faith envelop or transport the readerAlong similar lines the assertions and summations Mr Hallberg makes of his characters for his characters are freuently less than credible when considered forven a moment As a reader I uickly grow tired of being asked to swallow generalizations wholesale Again these sound significant but amount mostly to clutter not perspective and much less real insightAt times I felt like Mr Hallberg was fulfilling a list of reuirements for an ambitious novel about the 70s Race check Abortion check Punk rock check Redevelopment and gentrification check Then there s the three page chapters chronological hopscotch smattering of Operation (Operation: Midnight, extra textuallements this is an The New Left the Origins of the Cold War exceptionally fussy and mannered book There is never any doubt as to Mr Hallberg s intelligence there is some uestion as to his ability to make his ambition serve the needs of a truly great book that he may indeed have in himThe final nail in this coffin ofxhaustion was for me the all inclusive plot Here we have yet another shaggy dog tale culminating in the convergence of characters and the careful parceling out of information at prearranged intervals I don t know why these kinds of stories are still regarded by some as inherently profound like The Right Hook of Devin Velma everything s connected man Does the novelist forget that a narrative comes together by his own hand and that the reader knows andxpects this And does he think that the La Fleur du Mal end of the book canxcuse the rest of it Setting the climax during a historic notable Graphic Design Rules event does not imbue a novel with importanceCome fall hell now already you will see a lot of breathlessxcitement about City On Fire It certainly has the Reckless elements we ve come toxpect of a literary blockbuster But like The Art of Fielding which I hasten to add is a MUCH worse book than this one City On Fire is the kind of tome that now makes me suspicious of big advances and lockstep marketing campaigns The power in these coronations lies not with the writer and his prowess but with those bestowing their great favor and let s not forget money upon him City On Fire indeed heralds a great talent but it isn t a great bookBest of luck in your future Trickster endeavors Mr Hallberg HOW TO READ THIS BOOKAfter page 350 I decided to skip all the passages which bored the bejeesus out of me As there were uite a considerable number of those getting through the next 550 pages became a whole lotasier Killers Prey (Conard County even occasionallynjoyable Even so I feel like I need someone to come and defibrillate me HOISTED WITH HIS OWN PETARDOn page 617 we read She seemed to like Mr Big exactly those things he found most irksome about The New York Review of Books its unapologetic boringness its privileged hostility to privilegeThis seems to describe perfectly the army of fans this novel has Let me run that by you again She seemed to likexactly those things he found most irksome about City on Fire its unapologetic boringness its privileged hostility to privilegeMan is this book unapologetically boring Fiction is sometimes described as life with the boring bits left
But the way to if you re reading literary fiction is that they stick all the boring bits back in Still I got no one to blame but myself If I want plot I can reread Gone Girl rightHOW BORING IS BORING For instance the zine A bunch of the characters in the book are anarcho punks that s to say punks with political pretensions and teenage insights on our woeful rat bastard capitalist world Maybe you can remember when you sat around vowing to smash the state and Flori în păr eat the rich If not Mr Hallberg is here to remind you of what you missed all thembarrassing posturing and useless gestures and unpleasant sex So we get the complete reproduced 30 page 1976 punk zine called Land of 1000 Dances and it s as authentically toe curling as they all really were It s kinda cute to see stuck in the middle of a big serious literary thing but still you read the actual words at your peril It s the kind of reading which could make you bulimicA young Shane McGowan and his rad zines 1976A PARAPLEGIC TURTLETom Wolfe s well known novel The Bonfire of the Vanities is not an unfair comparison that one is also vast 700 pages set in New York City panoramic know it all and also has a plot propelled by a single crime And it s a page turner reason being that it s funny Okay perhaps that is an unfair comparison because Garth Hallberg is not funny I purely hope he s not trying to be anyway because there is not the merest trace of the flicker of a wan grin to be had in the Kansas State entire thing far as I could see So if it s a grown up serious novel then City on Fire has to be very compelling for other reasons but instead it just seeps and sogs and backtracks always backtracks It inches forwards at the speed of a paraplegic turtle and then comes to many lurching dead stops as the author inserts 30 or 40 pages of back story aboutach and very character Mr Hallberg believes that "his characters are all infinitely interesting But the 17 year old "characters are all infinitely interesting But the 17 year old but bright Charlie Weisbarger or the hipster reporter Richard Groskoph or the overreaching financier Keith Lamplighter are really not that interesting LAH DI DAHMr Hallberg has a smooth and often graceful style but uite often you have to ask yourself huh what was that again He has a trick of presenting a banal idea in a frightfully fancy way Such as For it was only with her that he d ver felt that powerful powerlessness he knew was loveAnd One of his mother s antiuated beliefs involved the curative power of manual labor and though she framed it as a favor he could do for her he knew she was thinking of it the other way around when she asked him at breakfast to mow the north pasture and Claggart s Humiliated Husband eyes he is a dog by the way moist and brown and rimmed with amethyst were able to grow to a size that made the rest of him seem pitiably small and defenseless and to project the purest distillate of melancholy a melancholy from which only Jenny could save him he would have claimed had he the power of speechand There was a period just after the inevitability of ruin hove into view and just before it smashed into the hull of your life that was the closest to pure freedom anyonever gotTHE BLACKOUTAs you may know the climax the denouement the culmination of this novel s infinite Warehouse Management elaborations happens during the New York blackout of July 13 14 1977 This takes the form of several characters looking for a needle in a haystack is the needle there No Is it there then No And then There s a kind of petering out Yes reallyGarth Hallberg has a whole lot of talent Em meio às infidelidades do marido Ele a ovelha negra fundador de uma mitológica banda punk artista plástico recluso figura lendária das artes nova ioruinas Ao redor dos dois gira uma constelação de tipos I Little Slave e acasos A jovem fotógrafa ue descobre um influente movimento musical pelas ruas da cidade O jovem professor negro gay ue chega do interior The Stall (Pony In Training e se apaixona pelo misterioso artista O grupo de ativistas ue pode ou nãostar levando longe demais o sonho de derrubar o THIEME Atlas of Anatomy establishment O garoto careta asmático ue se apaixona pela punk indomável O repórter ue sonha ser o novo nome do jornalismo literá. ,Out But The Way To